If you walk into your local discount store this weekend, you’ll likely already be barraged by piles of school supplies and signs shouting “Sale! Sale! Sale!” even though the beach towels and summer fun items lay only an aisle away. It feels like artillery shells pounding your sense of timing, like Christmas shopping at Halloween. The world doesn’t want to wait for the next season. It keeps pushing and pushing the consumer to think ahead and fret about what’s coming next.
As homeschoolers, we usually have the opportunity to set our own schedules and decide for ourselves when to start the school year. We revel in our flexibility, what with our four day school week, grocery shopping at 10 a.m., and our random week off in the middle of October. Somehow though, we still become slaves to the calendars Walmart and Target set.
Don’t they know it’s still summer (A.K.A. Wedding Season)?
It’s hard to go one summer without attending at least one. Aunt Susie drinks a little too much, Grandma does an embarrassing Macarena (how on Earth is that song still popular?), and no one wants to talk about earlier when Bridezilla freaked out, saying her carefully orchestrated day was ruined when the flowers were put in the wrong spot.
During Wedding Season, James K.A. Smith says, “Our interest is in the spectacle of the wedding.” A ka-gillion dollars are spent in the wedding industry every year for crazy, outlandish weddings that will be over in one day.
Spectacle is the perfect word for the day, isn’t it? It’s actually a fairly rare occurrence to attend a wedding that isn’t all about the show. You remember them well; those are the weddings where you just know the bride and groom are prepared for marriage, not just for the wedding day.
For those of us old enough to be schooling our own kids, or even thinking about it, our own spectacle is a little worn. We’re in the trenches now. Maybe we’ve weathered a job change, a move, a death in the family, or a combination of those. The honeymoon phase is becoming less reality and more memory. That doesn’t mean we love our spouses less, it just means we’ve gotten down to the hard work of life.
The truth is: despite what the retail world wants you to think, there still is plenty of summer left. This means you have plenty of time to take a day to spend with your spouse, devoted to one another and in service of one another. We know by now that marriage is not the same spectacle the wedding day is. Marriage is absolute joy, hard work, a blessing, a challenge, but above all, marriage is a marathon not a sprint. Even a marathon needs refreshment from the water table every now and then.
So here’s your call to action this week: Choose a day, spend it with your spouse, do something great with and for one another in alignment with the spirit of marriage, not the spectacle of the wedding day.